Have you ever thought of starting a nurse side business? As jobs at the bedside become more and more draining, many nurses are looking for a way to supplement their income so they can work less hours at the hospital. For many, the perfect nurse-balance is split between time with patients in the hospital and time doing something they own and run themselves.
In this post, we’re going to discuss some side hustle options for nurses!
Side hustle ideas for nurses
There are quite a few different things nurses would be great at. Let’s go through some:
Nurses are perfect for this position as they are knowledgeable about the body and health, but also typically possess great people skills and can provide authentic empathy and support individuals through life changes. Making healthy lifestyle changes, especially after being diagnosed with something life changing, is very tough. Having someone to help with motivation, nutrition, knowing what kinds of activity to undertake, and more can make all the difference in the world. Plus, it’s pretty rewarding to support people and cultivate long-term professional relationships as you support individuals through wellness.
Interested in learning more? Check out this link with more specifics.
Nursing Career Coach
Navigating the nursing profession is tough, even for people well into their career. A nursing career coach can help guide others through by explaining options, recommending paths based on desires, exploring schools and more. As an example, Nurse Keith is a wonderful career coach that has been in the business for years. However, not just anyone can do this. Just because you’re a nurse doesn’t mean you’ve got the knowledge base. You’ve got to spend some time really getting to know all of the career and degree options before you can begin advising others.
Nursing Educator / Course Creator
While many are familiar with nurse educators who work in hospitals or nursing schools, you can also do this as a freelancer as well. Many companies will hire nurses to create online education modules for continuing education credit. For example, OnCourse Learning/Nurse.com is continually looking for educators to write for them. You can also look into professional nursing organizations as well. These should all be paid per project and can stack up to great income!
Another option is to do this yourself! You would need to create the curriculum, market it, and sell it. While it sounds like a lot of work (and it is) it is very rewarding and provides the most autonomy.
Social Media Nurse Influencer
It’s no secret that social media is a major influence on society today. There are many nurses out there who have gained a substantial following. With the appropriate mentality, you can really earn a legitimate side hustle income through social promotion. However, there are definitely some downfalls of this avenue to be aware of. First, it can take a lot of time with very little ROI (return on investment). People spend hours and hours on social media to build a following to hopefully get paid one day… and if they do, they must be very selective about who they work with as to not compromise their image or that of the profession. So, if you’re looking for reliable and predictable income – this won’t be the way to go.
And, if you build your platform on someone else’s website (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.) it’s not really yours. Those companies could shut down at any time (like Vine did), leaving you without access to the audience you worked so hard to develop.
While it seems like the easiest to get started and most fun to do, this option actually is the most risky if it’s your only avenue for additional revenue. I highly recommend getting your own website and email list together in addition to cultivating a following on social media.
I also highly recommend checking out your social media policy at your hospital and ensuring you’re following it closely. If you begin to post photos and content that your hospital does not want publicly associated with them (highly sexual, very inappropriate, racist, etc.) that can easily land you in hot water. You may risk losing your current position in addition to making it difficult to land another job (as many employers will look at your public social media profiles during the hiring process). If you are an influencer and looking to land a hospital job, be up front with the hiring team and be ready to defend what you post to them and leadership.
This is a great avenue to supplement your income as so many nurses have a profoundly impactful story to share. You can either publish independently or with a publisher. While working with a publisher really supports you throughout the process and takes a lot of the legwork out of it (except for writing the manuscript), you will earn substantially less. If you publish on your own, you have much more creative control and earn more but must do everything yourself (cover art, formatting, design, etc. in addition to writing and editing the manuscript). This post explains the pros and cons of each side very, very well. I’ve worked with a publisher and independently published and can attest to its accuracy and agree wholeheartedly with her conclusions.
Either way, you’ll still be responsible for marketing your book. This includes creating a social following, email list, and blog as well. Unless you’re already a widely known name, you’ll be the one who is primarily responsible for promoting your book (even if you work with a publisher).
Publishing a book is a labor of love and unless it sells very well, it will not be a major source of additional income. Many individual use book publishing as a way to increase credibility to their platform, rather than it being the only aspect.
I’ve been blogging since 2013 and earn a full-time income off of mine. There are many ways to earn money from a blog.
Some of the ways I earn income on my blog are through affiliate marketing sponsored blog posts advertisements and promoting my own courses and books. By having a blog, I’ve landed some great speaking gigs and professional partnerships that have enhanced my career substantially. It even got me on the Dr. Oz show!
You can set one up quickly and build it over time. If you want to learn the practical steps to setting up a blog, I’ll be doing a live demo with another nurse blogger in Sept. 2019. Click here to learn more.
Speaking as a nurse speaker (ha!), this is an awesome way to make great money and travel. However, it’s not as easy as it looks. You can’t just show up to an event and chat for an hour on a topic you are familiar with. If someone is paying you to speak, they expect you to be professional and provide actionable value. Often, if it’s for a nursing event they most likely need to you have a speech they can provide CE credit for as well. You can’t really do that if you’re speaking off the cuff. Trust me, I’ve seen very confident nurses think they can just wing it and it’s very obvious. Nurses who prepare can connect authentically with an audience, sound professional, and provide incredible value. It’s really amazing to see.
Are you ready to feel confident as a nurse?
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It does take time and experience to develop the skills required to be a successful nursing speaker. If you do dive into this space you can supplement your income in a very substantial way. If you’re serious about this, I would suggest looking into the National Speakers Association (NSA).
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Hello new followers ? ? My name is Kati Kleber, BSN RN CCRN. I’ve been a nurse almost 8️⃣ years (currently working on my MSN!) and it is my passion to help out new nurses as they transition to practice. I’ve got a blog ? that’s been around for 5️⃣ years with a ton of content specifically for nursing students and new grads, a podcast ? with a 5-star ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ iTunes rating (that I am particularly pumped about!) and 5️⃣ books ? that outline some of the important steps that tend to get glossed over as we acclimate to the culture of providing patient care and teaching others, as well as some tips for nurses interested in blogging. I also travel and speak to new graduate ? nurse residency programs and nursing ? programs all over the country! ?? Here are a few pics of some previous events ??? ?Top left is Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, NC ?Top right is the Kentucky Association of Nursing Students annual conference in Bowling Green, KY and with the organizing committee ?Bottom left is the University of Illinois Chicago (CU campus) graduation in Champaign-Urbana, IL ?Bottom right is Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, NC ? LINK IN BIO ?to the blog, podcast, and books. For more information on speaking ➡️ head to katikleber.com/speaking. New nurses and students, what are you struggling with? What barriers are you facing? #nurse #nursing #nursingstudent #nursingstudents #nursingschoolstruggles #nursingschoolproblems #newnurse #newgradnurse #freshrn #katikleber #growingnewnurses #nursingprofessionaldevelopment #nursingsupport #ilovenursing #nurselife #nursegrad #nursinggraduate #nurseauthor #nurseblogger #nursepodcaster #podcaster #podcasting #freshrnpodcast
Just think about all of the nurse-related events you’ve been to: Many, if not all, needed to find a professional speaker for their event. I’ve sat on planning committees – this is actually much harder than it seems! And some of the top speakers out there command thousands of dollars for a single keynote speech. It takes years to get there, but if you’re interested, the journey is well worth it.
I also highly recommend checking out some of the well-known professional nurse speakers out there like Donna Cardillo, Renee Thompson, and Faith Roberts.
Nurse Expert Witness
This sounds intimidating, but stay with me here folks. When there is a lawsuit for a medical situation, the patient’s record must be reviewed. If a nurse cared for the patient and is named in the lawsuit, it needs to be reviewed by an objective third party. The nurse’s role and if they followed the standard of care for their specialty in this specific situation must be evaluated by another nurse. Therefore, you can be an expert nurse witness that law firms can utilize for these chart reviews. You may also be required to be deposed or testify. You would be paid hourly and it does command quite a bit of money.
I’ve done this myself and it was very lucrative. I was earned about $1000 for 8 hours of work for my first chart review.
Check out this website founded by a fellow nurse who connects law firms with nurses. I’ve met Dawn personally and she’s the real deal!
Nurses may also be interested in working with various companies who promote lifestyle products like essential oils, dietary supplements, skin care, and more. The positives are that you get to use and promote a product you enjoy while earning some side income. Important things to consider are that since you have RN attached to your name, that does bring a degree of legitimacy to the product and public when you promote it. Therefore, you should do your due diligence before signing on with a company. You must also be crystal clear that you earn income from selling it and have appropriate disclaimers on your website.
A word to the wise, as far as wellness advocates go with multi-level-marketing: If you decide to this route, don’t make the common mistake of trying to get your friends in on your business. It really doesn’t feel good from a friend perspective to feel that you have to financially support a friend’s side hustle. I personally believe that’s crossing a boundary in friendship and can really hurt relationships long term. I’ve had quite a few friends not speak to me in years and suddenly are pitching a product to me to help them get off the ground. It feels like they didn’t care about me at all until I was a potential client. Not cool guys, not cool. Please don’t do this.
If you want to really go for this, do so with a good website and email list to build your client base… don’t rely on friends and saturate your personal social media asking them to buy your products. It’s just really not cool.
Finally, home care is another wonderful option. While you can start this as a side hustle, it can quickly develop into a major business.
You can begin by providing in-home care to others at an hourly rate, then hire others to do so and move to a coordinator position. You can scale this business easily as there is quite a bit of demand. Stella Nsong earns 7-figures with her business and has begun teaching others how to do the same.
Ok, so now what?
Phew, that was a lot of information. Regardless of which method you choose, you will need a website. You need a home base to showcase yourself, your skills, and build an email list. I’ve been operating my own website since 2013 and now work full-time for myself. If you’d like to learn the practical steps to do this, I’d love to teach you.
I’ll be in Las Vegas this Sept. 27-29, 2019 at the National Nurses in Business Conference doing a per-conference seminar with another nurse entrepreneur who also owns and operates her own business and earns a full-time income.
Below is a preview of what we will go over!
We will teach you how to start your own website, create content to attract your target audience, build an email list, and all of the pitfalls that nurse entrepreneurs typically encounter.
Click here to learn more and sign up!
Very awesome info! As a full time NP and someone who has caught the entrepreneur-bug, I consider this advice from an experienced veteran of the content provided. I hate when people offer opinion with no backing. Kati actually has done all this with experience to back it. Excellent work, Kati, and can’t wait to hear about NNBA!
Kati Kleber, MSN RN CCRN-K says
Thanks so much John! I’m always inspired there to make really good business moves that I never realized were options in the first place. It’s a really great experience and can’t wait to share what I learn.
Jeff Jack says
I really enjoyed this email more than any other. I hope that it inspires many nurses to explore fields of nursing that can provide them with free time for their own pursuits, ministries, family, etc.
I am also a nurse entrepreneur. I’ve been doing it since around 2010 when I started https://acls-algorithms.com/
It’s been quite a ride. Ups and downs, lots of adventure, and a lot of fun. There’s so many opportunities that working part time has made possible in my life. I now work as a nurse part-time for 24 hours per week and run the website in my spare time. Now I work as a nurse because I love being a nurse. It’s no longer making the money that drives me to work. It’s a good feeling.
Thanks so much for the email. Keep up the great work. God bless you.
Kati Kleber, MSN RN CCRN-K says
Jeff – thanks so much for your message! And thanks for taking the time to comment here. I’m exploring why there is a bounce back email with my host. That shouldn’t happen so I’m not sure where the problem is. I love that you’ve found your ideal work balance in an unconventional way and hope it inspires others. It feels really empowering and liberating to be able to pave your own way!